Lot 563
  • 563

Amethyst and diamond demi-parure, mid-19th century

50,000 - 80,000 CHF
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  • amethyst, diamond, gold, silver, cultured pearl
Comprising: a necklace designed as a graduated series of oval amethysts each set within a frame of cushion-shaped and circular-cut diamonds, suspending a detachable amethyst and diamond pendant, length approximately 430mm, two later links to back of necklace, central jewel and pendant detachable and may be worn on later necklace composed of four rows of cultured pearls, length of shortest row approximately 355mm; and a pair of earrings similarly set, post fittings, originally part of the necklace, later set as earrings.


Originally owned by Queen Therese of Bavaria, Princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen (b.1792-1854) who bequested the jewels to her second son, King Otto of Greece, Prince of Bavaria (b.1832-1862). As he and his wife, Queen Amalia of Greece, Princess of Oldenburg b.(1818-1875), were childless these jewels were handed down to the king's nephew, Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria (b.1859-1949), thence by descent. The parure his known within the family as the 'Queen Amalia Parure'.

Catalogue Note

Purple is by tradition the colour of royalty, and amethysts have been used to adorn monarchs for many centuries. The stone was extremely popular in the mid to late 19th century, and was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle de Paris, in 1889. With Empress Catherine the Great’s request, some of the finest examples of this stone were mined in the Ural mountains of Russia, for their rich display of purple to violet colour in daylight and a rich red saturation in the evening. History recounts many importat amethyst jewels: the Duchess of Bedford wore a similar necklace as illustrated in the book Ancestral Jewels by Diana Scarisbrick (page 164); a similar amethyst and diamond parure from the Collection of a European Royal Family was sold by Sotheby’s Geneva in May 1993 (lot 525); and many are still worn to this day such as the suite belonging to the Swedish Royal Family which is frequently worn by Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria.